Pregnant and smoked meat
Smoked meat is a meat product that is eaten raw. It has been preserved by salting, drying and smoking. There is a lot of confusion about eating smoked meat during pregnancy. Smoked meat is not heated, but due to the processing during the preparation it is still resistant to the outgrowth of most bacteria. Still, in some cases there is a chance that Listeria can grow in smoked meat. This is especially dangerous for pregnant women, as contamination with Listeria during pregnancy can lead to serious complications. What are the risks of contamination of smoked meat with Listeria and how can you prevent this?
Smoking meat during pregnancy
There are quite a few conflicting advice when it comes to eating raw, cured meats during pregnancy. By adding nitrite and salting and drying, the risk of contamination with Listeria is small and the risk of contamination with Toxoplasma is absent. Nevertheless, smoked meat can contain larger amounts of Listeria at the end of its shelf life. This chance increases as the shelf life of the smoked meat is longer due to, for example, a low-oxygen packaging. Fresh smoked meat eaten well before the expiration date is safer for pregnant women than smoked meat that is nearing its expiration date.